What We Know About Rls:
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Symptoms For Restless Leg Syndrome
If you are being affected by RLS you will notice some common signs. You may have RLS if you are experiencing two or more of the following Symptoms for Restless Leg Syndrome:
- Uncontrollable Jerking
- Painful Legs
If you are experiencing any of the above RLS Symptoms then you should treat it as soon as you can. It can effect your sleep and lead to poor health and lowered immune function!
What Are The Treatment Options
If iron deficiency is not the cause, there are treatments to lessen the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Dopamine agonist drugs such as ropinirole and rotigotine have shown some ability to reduce symptoms, and so have clonazepam, pregabalin and gabapentin. There are also leg stimulation devices that can lessen the urge for legs to move.
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Avoid These Before Bed
When it comes to what not to consume, Dr. Berkowski lists the four things you should avoid to help ease your RLS symptoms:
These products are all known to trigger RLS symptoms, Dr. Berkowski says.
Additionally, if you have wheat or dairy allergies but still consume those products, that could also be a source of trouble. What and dairy allergies can cause inflammation which, in turn, cause issues with iron absorption, says Dr. Berkowski, so its something to keep in mind.
Stretching And Movement Tips
Keeping your body physically active is a great way to lessen RLS symptoms. When you are immobile for too long , this is when those creepy sensations can start up. Try these stretching and movement tips:
- Go walking for lunch. Take your sandwich and head to the park down the street.
- Jog in place to give your circulation a boost.
- If you sit down a lot for work, get up and walk around for five minutes every hour.
- Right when you get out of bed in the morning and right before you hit the sack at night, take some time to stretch your legs.
- If on a road trip, stop every hour or so for a stretch.
- If flying in a plane, request an aisle seat. When it is safe to do so, walk up and down the aisles a couple times every so often.
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Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies
If you have mild RLS, lifestyle changes may be the only treatment you need.
You can try to prevent RLS symptoms by:
- Avoiding caffeine, tobacco, and nicotine, which are common triggers of RLS symptoms
- Making sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet or by taking supplements
- Reviewing your medications with your doctor and possibly changing medications that may be triggering RLS
- Exercising regularly
- Engaging your mind with distracting activities when you have to remain seated
Other activities can help alleviate RLS symptoms, including:
- Taking a hot or cold bath
- Using heat or ice packs
- Walking or stretching
- Massaging your legs
- Doing mentally challenging tasks
To help you fall and stay asleep, it’s also important to adopt good sleep habits, including:
- Keeping your sleeping area cool, quiet, and dark
- Engaging in a mentally challenging or distracting activity before bed, such as a crossword puzzle
- Removing devices from your sleeping area that can disrupt sleep, such as TVs, computers, and phones
- Sticking to a sleep routine
- Using breathing exercises or other techniques to relax at night
What Triggers Restless Leg
Most times, restless leg is usually triggered by long hours of idleness hence undergoing some of these activities may bring up your symptoms:
- taking long distance flights
- relaxation exercises
- sitting in a particular place for a long time.
Apart from being in active, there are some diseases that put you at high risk and trigger secondary RLS. They are
- kidney failure
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Staying Active Throughout The Day
Long periods of sitting or lying down may trigger symptoms of RLS. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, doctors recommend that people with RLS perform moderate exercise throughout the day to keep RLS symptoms at bay.
However, the National Health Service in the United Kingdom note that people should avoid exercising close to bedtime, as this could make RLS symptoms worse.
Restless Leg Syndrome And Pregnancy
Symptoms of RLS can spring up for the first time during pregnancy, usually in the last trimester. Data suggests that pregnant women may have two or three times higher risk of RLS.
The reasons for this arent well-understood. Some possibilities are vitamin or mineral deficiencies, hormonal changes, or nerve compression.
Pregnancy can also cause leg cramps and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms can be hard to distinguish from RLS. If youre pregnant and have symptoms of RLS, talk to your doctor. You may need to be tested for iron or other deficiencies.
You can also try some of these home care techniques:
- Avoid sitting still for prolonged periods, especially in the evening.
- Try to get a little exercise every day, even if its just an afternoon walk.
- Massage your legs or perform leg stretching exercises before bed.
- Try using heat or cold on your legs when theyre bothering you.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
- Avoid antihistamines, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol.
- Make sure youre getting all the nutrients you need from your diet or from prenatal vitamins.
Some of the medications used to treat RLS are not safe to use during pregnancy.
RLS in pregnancy usually goes away on its own within weeks after giving birth. If it doesnt, see your doctor about other remedies. Be sure to mention if you are breast-feeding.
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Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
PLMD is a similarly related sleep disorder, sometimes called periodic limb movement during sleep . In people with PLMD, the limbs twitch or jerk uncontrollably while sleeping. It is also considered a type of sleeping disorder. The movement may cause the individual to wake up frequently during the night, and this can undermine the quality and length of sleep. It can lead to RLS.
Lifestyle changes and common medications that may help alleviate RLS symptoms include:
- Warm baths and massages: These can relax the muscles and reduce the intensity of symptoms.
- Warm or cool packs: Some people prefer warm, some cold, and others say that alternating hot and cold is helpful.
- Relaxation techniques: Stress can make RLS worse, so exercises such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi may help.
- Exercise using legs more can help alleviate symptoms. If the patient has a sedentary lifestyle, walking instead of driving, taking up a sport, or exercising the legs in a gym can help.
Restless Leg And Magnesium
Magnesium is naturally a mineral that our bodies need because of the vital role it plays. It is useful in regulating many biochemical reactions in the body in which nerve and muscle function is included.
According to early research, some cases of RLS may be caused by magnesium deficiency. In this case, it is suggested that taking magnesium supplements can help reduce the symptoms and help the muscles relax. This is because magnesium has the ability to block calcium which helps in the regulation and trigger of muscle contraction. Using a large amount of magnesium supplement only works better if the magnesium deficiency is one of the contributing factors to the disease.
Using magnesium to treat RLS may have some side effects the commonest being stomach upset while others are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. The severity of this cramps depend directly on the amount of magnesium taken.
People are advised against using high doses of magnesium as it can cause magnesium to accumulate in the body. When magnesium accumulates in the body, the following are visible:
High doses of magnesium are dangerous as severe cases may lead to coma or death.
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Nighttime And Sleep Tips To Ease Restless Legs Syndrome
What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome has been found to be a genetic syndrome in some cases, meaning that parents with RLS can pass it down to their children. Up to 92% of patients with RLS have a first-degree relative with the disorder. These patients tend to develop symptoms earlier in life than those with RLS without the genetic link.
In addition to the genetic source, many medical problems are closely associated with the development of RLS, including:
Medications can also contribute to the development of RLS. Such known medications include antidepressants, allergy drugs and anti-nausea medications. Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol can also make symptoms worse.
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Restless Leg Syndrome In Children
Children can experience the same tingling and pulling sensations in their legs as adults with RLS. But they may have a hard time describing it. They might call it a creepy crawly feeling.
Children with RLS also have an overwhelming urge to move their legs. Theyre more likely than adults to have symptoms during the day.
RLS can interfere with sleep, which can affect every aspect of life. A child with RLS may seem inattentive, irritable, or fidgety. They may be labeled disruptive or hyperactive. Diagnosing and treating RLS can help address these problems and improve school performance.
To diagnose RLS in children up to age 12, the adult criteria must be met:
- overwhelming urge to move, usually accompanied by strange sensations
- symptoms worsen at night
- symptoms are triggered when you try to relax or sleep
- symptoms ease up when you move
Additionally, the child must be able to describe the leg sensations in their own words.
Otherwise, two of these must be true:
- Theres a clinical sleep disturbance for age.
- A biological parent or sibling had RLS.
- A sleep study confirms a periodic limb movement index of five or more per hour of sleep.
Any dietary deficiencies must be addressed. Children with RLS should avoid caffeine and develop good bedtime habits.
If necessary, medications that affect dopamine, benzodiazepines, and anticonvulsants may be prescribed.
How Do Medications Treat Restless Legs Syndrome
The nerve pathway in the brain that helps control voluntary movements may not work normally in people with restless legs syndrome. This pathway uses certain chemicals that keep your movements normal.
Its believed that people with restless legs syndrome have changes in the normal function of these chemicals. These changes may cause the involuntary movement thats typical of restless legs syndrome.
Certain drugs can help treat the symptoms of restless legs syndrome by acting like the chemicals in this pathway or by helping these chemicals function normally.
The drugs that are used first to treat restless legs syndrome most often include ropinirole, pramipexole, and rotigotine. The drug gabapentin enacarbil is also used, but usually only when the other drugs dont provide relief.
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Treatment If The Condition Gets Worse
Over time, treatment of RLS with a dopamine medicine may not work as well as it did at first. This is called augmentation.
You might notice that your symptoms:
- Begin earlier in the day.
- Become more intense.
- Spread to another part of your body.
If you are taking a dopamine medicine for RLS and your symptoms change, tell your doctor. Do not stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first. You can work with your doctor to decide what treatment is the best one for you.
If you continue to have symptoms even though you are receiving treatment with drugs and are exercising regularly, eating right, and not smoking, drinking alcohol, or using caffeine, your symptoms may need to be reevaluated. Many other conditions can cause the sensations found in restless legs syndrome, including several vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Your doctor may recommend different drugs or a combination of drugs. Follow up with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
Increase Your Dopamine Levels
One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for RLS are dopamine-related medications, like pramipexole and ropinirole, that increase levels of dopamine a neurotransmitter in the brain. But the side effects of these types of medications arent pretty, and may include vomiting, nausea, and hallucinations. The good news is, you can increase your dopamine levels naturally, with the help of certain supplements and foods. Get a daily dose of L-tyrosine, an amino acid that helps your body make dopamine. Supplement with 500-2000 mg a day, or eat foods rich in tyrosine such as avocados, pastured eggs, and grass-fed beef. You can also boost your dopamine with mucuna pruriens, an herbal supplement that contains large amounts of L-dopa, a precursor to dopamine.
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Restless Arm Restless Body And Other Related Conditions
Its called restless leg syndrome, but it can also affect your arms, trunk, or head. Both sides of the body are usually involved, but some people have it on only one side. Despite these differences, its the same disorder.
About 80 percent of people with RLS also have periodic limb movement of sleep . This causes involuntary leg twitching or jerking during sleep that can last all night long.
Peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, and kidney failure cause symptoms like RLS. Treating the underlying condition often helps.
Many people with Parkinsons disease also have RLS. But most people who have RLS dont go on to develop Parkinsons. The same medications can improve symptoms of both conditions.
Its not uncommon for people with multiple sclerosis to have sleep disturbances, including restless legs, limbs, and body. Theyre also prone to muscles spasms and cramps. Medication used to combat fatigue associated with chronic diseases can also cause this. Medication adjustments and home remedies may help.
Pregnant women are at higher risk of RLS. It usually resolves on its own after the baby is born.
Anyone can have occasional leg cramps or strange sensations that come and go. When symptoms interfere with sleep, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Be sure to mention any underlying health conditions.
Practical Tips For Home
Small changes in daily habits can help people with restless legs syndrome significantly improve symptoms of the condition:
- Improve your sleep hygiene. Adequate lighting, favorable temperatures and a calm environment are essential for a good rest. Sleep and wakefulness routines are just as important. You need to sleep at least six hours.
- Keep a sleep diary . Write down everything related to your sleep and rest in a journal or notebook: sleep problems, medications that help you, etc. Share these records with your healthcare professional to help you get your disease under control.
- Say no to stimulants. Avoid coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, and of course alcohol, tobacco, and any other drugs.
- Keep your body hydrated! Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty. Water is a great alternative to other drinks.
- Go in for sports. Walking and regular, moderate physical activity can often help improve the situation. However, be careful! Intense exercise or sports late at night can exacerbate the symptoms of Ekbom syndrome as well as increase stress.
- Sign up for circles, sections, etc. Activities such as music therapy, tai chi, acupuncture, or yoga are included in restless legs rehabilitation. Dont forget to bring comfortable clothing and shoes. Activities like these can also help you focus on other things and not pay constant attention to symptoms.
yoga will help relieve symptoms of restless legs and syndrome
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What Are The Symptoms
The most prominent symptom of RLS is the overwhelming urge to move your legs, especially when youre sitting still or lying in bed. You might also feel unusual sensations like a tingling, crawling, or pulling sensation in your legs. Movement may relieve these sensations.
If you have mild RLS, symptoms may not occur every night. And you might attribute these movements to restlessness, nervousness, or stress.
A more severe case of RLS is challenging to ignore. It can complicate the simplest activities, like going to the movies. A long plane ride can also be difficult.
People with RLS are likely to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because symptoms are worse at night. Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and sleep deprivation can harm your physical and emotional health.
Symptoms usually affect both sides of the body, but some people have them on only one side. In mild cases, symptoms may come and go. RLS can also affect other parts of the body, including your arms and head. For most people with RLS, symptoms worsen with age.
People with RLS often use movement as a way to relieve symptoms. That might mean pacing the floor or tossing and turning in bed. If you sleep with a partner, it may well be disturbing their sleep as well.